Shop Talk: The Cloud Part V: Disc to Digital
By David Mumpower
August 22, 2012
As a consumer, you do have the ability to jump start the process, though. Wal-Mart has created the Disc to Digital program for forward thinking consumers. All you have to do is check the Wal-Mart-owned Vudu Web site. See what titles you have that they list. In our case, there are several hundred eligible titles. And yes, we have converted a lot of those to digital. I will detail the process in just a moment.
What I would like to point out first is that if you are not an avid Blu-Ray collector, Disc to Digital may not be for you. There is a 150% price difference between Blu-Ray and DVD conversions. Taking an eligible Blu-Ray title to the store will cost $2 to attain the Ultraviolet digital license. The same title costs $5 for DVD. I would also note that at least one Wal-Mart here in town cheats by charging $6, an additional 16.7% markup from the advertised price.
Paying $2 for an HD digital license is a negligible price point. $5-$6 is fairly steep given that this is many cases at least the same if not more than a DVD costs to buy. I should add that an SD license is only $2; however, I reiterate my previously stated belief that buying a non-HD digital license is a total waste of money. Still, the Disc to Digital process affords the opportunity to add 50 movie titles you will own forever in HD for only $100. The average new Blu-Ray release costs $20. This is a good deal for movie lovers.
How easy is the conversion process? A quick Google search would tell you exactly what I am about to say. The convenience varies from store to store. I’m ignoring all opportunities here to form People of Wal-Mart related jokes here since the company recorded $447 billion in sales in 2011. Almost everyone reading this has shopped there in the past year. So there is no point in hammering the customers or the employees of Wal-Mart. That store is the necessary evil of mainstream retailers.
What I will say in all sincerity is that some of their employees have received better training than others. My first attempt at a Disc to Digital conversion was a failure. In hindsight, I have only myself to blame because I was trying to be the first customer at Wal-Mart to buy something involving technology. You NEVER want to be the first customer at Wal-Mart to buy something involving technology. When I mentioned the service, I was greeted with confused looks by the employees. Despite the fact that a Disc to Digital poster stood not 10 feet away, they had no understanding of my request.
This happened three times.
I went to Wal-Mart on each of these occasions and requested the service. Each time, a different customer service representative stated that they had no idea how to facilitate the transaction. This was particularly aggravating since I had to carry a giant box of discs through the entire store. I was setting off alarms due to the fact that many of my discs had been either purchased online or sent from the various studios. As such, they still had their security settings enabled.